Correlation Is Not Causation

food stamps

Policymic (via Brad Woodhouse):

Food Stamp Use is Highest in Red States: The Truth Republicans Do Not Want You to Know

Food stamps are considered a mode of government spending with a high multiplier effect. In other words, when someone is poor and using food stamps (which are now in debit card form) this often triggers more economic activity than it costs. Republicans should find a target for their ire that is less effective at stimulating the economy.

However, what happens is Republicans take the opposite approach. They believe that giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires is the best way to stimulate economic growth. The only problem with that is reality.

Economists say that providing food stamps might be the most stimulative action the government can take. Tax cuts for the wealthy ranks around 12th.

I’m not against tax cuts for the wealthy out of any disdain for the wealthy. I prefer everyone would keep 100% of his or her money, but I’m not sure our system that helps generate the wealth would continue to operate. So, the question is, do Republican approaches work? Who do they work for? Do they work long term?

As far as I can tell, Bush was able to stimulate the economy for a while using Republican approaches, but at the end of his time in office it entirely imploded. Reagan, same thing. I think the economy had another collapse right after he left office. So, what about the food stamp issue? Why are Republicans so concerned about it?

Charts of food stamp usage show that while a few Democrat led states have high food stamp usage; food stamp usage is highest consistently across Republican states. What does that say about the Republican approach?

To me, it says that the top down, trickle down theory of economics fails the poor. Under conditions where the poor were helped, one would expect that there would be less reliance on food stamps. People would receive short-term support, a little assistance getting on their feet, maybe some job training, or some assistance paying for community college and would be on their way.

If the poor are uplifted even just slightly then they become tax payers rather than living off food stamps. Republicans are angry about food stamp usage because they have failed to uplift the poor in their states. The top down, trickle down, economic approach has broken social mobility in Republican led states. Republicans are angry because their failed economic approach leaves them with fewer tax payers and more people on welfare.

Would it shock you to learn that Brad Woodhouse is the Democratic Party Communications Director? I was shocked to learn that which party controls your state determines the rate of food stamp usage. I would have thought that demographics and the types of industry in the various states would be a big factor.

I live in a area where food stamp usage is very high, but according to the chart the overall state rate is low. We have a Democratic governor right now, but he only took office at the beginning of 2011, so which kind of state are we?

But here’s what I don’t understand. According to the author (Benjamin Feinblum) food stamp usage stimulates the economy. Assuming that’s true, wouldn’t the states with the highest food stamp usage have the most stimulated economies?

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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61 Responses to Correlation Is Not Causation

  1. jeffhas says:

    There you go reading and thinking on your own… You’re supposed to read and think what you’ve been told to think.

    You are not going to reach your prog potential if you keep this up.

  2. yttik says:

    I don’t understand the whole idea that food stamps stimulate the economy. Food is one of those things people are going to figure out how to buy, no matter what. You have to eat or you’ll starve, so we’re going to spend a certain amount of money on food, no matter what. If you get food stamps, you would think it would free up some of your money to spend on other things and that would stimulate the economy, but it doesn’t work that way. To qualify for food stamps, your income has to stay low or it proportionately reduces your benefits. So food stamps simply replace income that you would have had, if you weren’t receiving food stamps. We see this all the time when people receive an increase in disability or SS, it reduces their food stamps. Get a raise at work, it reduces your food stamps. So food stamps simply replace money that may have been there from other sources. Needless to say, people on food stamps quickly learn how to keep their income low, so they can keep their benefits. The idea behind FS was to provide you with food temporarily, while you were waiting for that additional income to come in. The problem is, far to many people find themselves having to serve their food stamps benefits, to change their lifestyle and finances, until FS become a way of life.

    • DeniseVB says:

      There’s so much fraud in the entitlement programs, unfortunately I know people who have “gamed” the system. All liberals too, what a coincidence.

  3. myiq2xu says:
    • Mary says:

      Apparently The One created quite a stir in Belfast by telling his audience that separate Catholic and Protestant schools create more division, and shouldn’t be ok.

      Well duh…..why on earth does he think that’s any of his business, anyway?

  4. yttik says:

    Also, it’s pretty sneaky the way Dems are currently trying to portray FS as your total grocery budget. FS are supposed to suppliment your grocery bill. Nowhere is it written that your FS allowance must be all you ever spend on food. If you get subsidized rent of say, 60 dollars a month, that doesn’t mean you have to try and find a rental for only 60 bucks.

    These politicians pretending to live off of a food stamp allowance are really pissing me off, because poor people are seeing this and thinking, I can’t spend any cash on food. I’m totally dependent on the Gov to tell me how much I should be spending. So common sense, independent thought, go right out the window. Along with any survival instincts.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Growing up in a family that survived The Great Depression, I was always amazed how grandma could buy a whole chicken and make it last a week.

    • DeniseVB says:

      In case you missed SooperMexican’s SNAP challenge video….it’s a riot….

      • yttik says:

        LOL! That was funny!

        One good thing about growing up poor and moving around a lot, I got to sample every kind of taco and the region they belonged to. In Ca, we used to eat hot dog tacos, which are so good I still crave them. One chopped up hot dog, lots of veggies, and a squeeze of lime. In Hawaii I ate spam tacos, which sounds scary, but darn, they were good! Spam, rice, pineapple, mango salsa. Yummy! Up here we have fish tacos, which are pretty darn good too. And moose tacos in Alaska, LOL! You just can’t go wrong with a taco.

        • swanspirit says:

          Hilarious ! and it made me hungry for Tacos!

        • Lulu says:

          I grew up poor in Texas in the 50’s and 60’s. We were so poor we had to cook our own food! And sometimes we had to pick it out of the field! I remember being taught how to pick okra! With a knife! It was barbaric what was done to the poor okra plant! My grandmother made the shortest child pick butter beans! Because they grew on squatty little bushes! It was horrible! She shot a rooster that chased me with a big shotgun! I was traumatized! Then she made gumbo out of the pieces of the rooster that we could find! I still carry the scars of my traumatic childhood of food incidents.

        • DeniseVB says:

          I remember going with grandma to the butcher, then the baker, then the green grocer in Brooklyn. Fond memories of her haggling prices in Italian. A diary truck came by every day with milk in glass bottles, they used the cream at the top for coffee. Of course the highlight of the day was the Good Humor truck, if I was good, got a nickel for a tasty treat 🙂

      • HELENK says:

        good video. funny but true. many people including congress need to learn how to stretch a dollar

      • Constance says:


  5. HELENK says:

    backtrack deploying US soldiers to help muslim brotherhood regime in Egypt deal with rioting protesters

    I really hope this story is wrong. I do not want one more drop of American blood spilled for these people

  6. SHV says:

    “Food stamps are considered a mode of government spending with a high multiplier effect. In other words, when someone is poor and using food stamps (which are now in debit card form) this often triggers more economic activity than it costs. Republicans should find a target for their ire that is less effective at stimulating the economy.”
    As seems to be the case with today’s “social” programs, they have become very expensive forms of corporate welfare. “Follow the money”, however, that is very difficult because, IIRC, the Dept. of Ag. is forbidden by law to release data that show where the money goes.

    Who is spending the big $$$ to expand SNAP and to block restricting how the money is spent???

    Another good example is Bush’s part D Medicare, a good idea, except that the law doesn’t allow for price negotiations, so the govt is paying 2 to 3 times what the govt pays for the same drugs sold to the VA.

  7. wmcb says:

    So the Dems already stripped all border security out of the bill, and are now demanding that illegals that are RPI (given temporary status) be IMMEDIATELY eligible for all federal benefits.

    Watch the GOP roll over on this like they did border security. This is going to end up being a straight amnesty bill, with some cushy money promised to various groups here and there, and nothing else.

    We are getting a blanket amnesty/spending bill with ZERO fixes.

  8. SHV says:

    “We are getting a blanket amnesty/spending bill with ZERO fixes.”
    That is the way that the Uni-Party operates, a lot of street theater then some how the bill passes. This “reform” legislation is a financial gold mine for big business; not so much for American workers.

    • Mary says:

      CBO has already predicted that if it passes, unemployment will go up and wages will go down.

      Media didn’t report that—they focused on the deficit reduction part. (snort)

  9. wmcb says:

  10. Lulu says:

    Rasmussen has Obummer at 44% approval. He is now at 55% doing a crap job. MSNBC/WaPo has him at 78% everything is wonderful./s/ It is going to be a long, hot, crazy-bot summer.

    • Mary says:

      MSNBC can’t save him with rigged polls.

      Even that new CNN poll showed Obama down SEVENTEEN points among voters under 30 years old, and way down with Independents.

      Oh, he’ll keep the koolaid progs, but he’s lost the young and the independents.

  11. myiq2xu says:
  12. Propertius says:

    The Red States have high levels of poverty (and hence welfare dependence) largely because the Blue States treat them as colonies – they exist to be exploited for cheap raw materials and to serve as captive markets, thereby transferring any and all of their wealth to their masters on the coasts.

    • Constance says:

      The east coast treats everyone like colonies it really isn’t a blue state red state thing. It’s Ivy indoctrinated east coast vs their designated peons.

      • Propertius says:

        From my vantage point here in Flyover Country, it’s a bicoastal phenomenon. LA/Hollywood and SF/Silicon Valley are every bit as much at fault as the East Coast. And Stanford/USC/Berkeley are every bit as good at indoctrination as the Ivies (speaking as a Harvard faculty brat myself).

  13. DeniseVB says:

    Paula Deen used the N-word, she must be destroyed !!! Just catching up on this news, but I guess it’s past employees from years ago who heard her say the word ?

    Funny comment over there …. hope this is enough for Rev. Al to cancel his march against her.

  14. HELENK says:

    per reid ted kennedy will be smiling down on us for passing AMNESTY.

    I guess I misunderstood. I thought it was supposed to be immigration reform and not amnesty

Comments are closed.